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3 Ways to Create Waving Flag Animations in After Effects


Do you know what is better than a static flag illustration on your website? A waving flag. It adds that patriotic flair that makes your animated flag a little more convincing and alive. Creating an animated flag can be easy if you can use After Effects to an extent. It will help you create your own animated flags for social media posts, videos, websites, and other presentations. If you have been looking for the best solutions for creating a waving flag, we have brought you three creative ways from the experts that will help you quickly. You can use any of these three tips to create your own waving flag effects using After Effects as a beginner.

Displacement Map

A displacement map will help you create a realistic flag animation design. The idea of this method is to create a displacement map first. To do this, you need to create a comp and a solid. The solid will provide the fractal noise effect to the comp. Using this effect, you can customize how the waving flag will look. The darker and lighter areas around the flag will give an illusion of displacement. Add a time expression to adjust how your fractal noise will evolve. Experts say time*15 is the best to provide a natural look. Next, you need to animate the noise position. Keep all the noise in the same direction to give a natural waving effect.


Wave Warp Effect

If you want to use a cartoonish flag for your project, the wave warp effect will be easier to obtain. It suits the vector-based flag lines and is used by many animators for cartoon-style videos. If your project involves a more cartoonish illustration, this can be the right choice of tool you use. To create the effect, you need to take your vector object (the flag) and apply the wave warp effect on top of it. You can also customize how the effect will move around the object. You can also add keyframes, wave height parameters, and angles to give your flag a random and natural look.

Distort Tools

You can also accomplish a wave using the distort tools in After Effects. It is more of a DIY method to create a wave-like animation. First, you can apply the mesh warp effect on the flag and then play with mesh until you get a wavy look. The mesh will add a grid on top of your object that will bend it according to how you decide. Each cross-section of the grid can be animated. CC Bend and Liquify tools work in the same manner, but you will have to create the animation yourself. It will be a good experience to learn about animation while you use these tools.

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